“Tablet Wills” — Is the Future of Last Will and Testaments Already Here?  An Ohio probate judge has ruled that a Last Will and Testament written and signed using a stylus on a tablet computer is a valid last will under Ohio law. The case involved an Ohio man named Javier Castro, who needed a blood transfusion in order to cure his illness, but due to religious reasons he refused the treatment. Apparently Javier Castro was not married and had no children, and so with the help of his brothers, Miguel and Albie, a Last Will and Testament was  rafted and then signed and witnessed on Albie’s Samsung Galaxy tablet computer. Javier Castro died about a month after the “tablet will” was created. According to Lorain County Probate Judge James Walther, if the “tablet will” was not found to be valid, then Javier Castro’s estate would have passed to his parents, who are still living, as his intestate heirs instead of as he had specified in the “tablet will.” (As a side note, the parents said that even if the “tablet will” was found to be invalid, they would have divvied up their son’s estate in accordance with his written wishes). In the end Judge Walther ruled that the “tablet will” met all of the requirements for a valid Last Will and testament under Ohio law and admitted the will to probate. (Would the outcome have been different if Javier Castro’s parents had contested the “tablet will”? We will never know.) The judge noted in his opinion that Nevada appears to be the only state that specifically recognizes “electronic wills” by state statute. And while the judge found Javier Castro’s “tablet will” to be valid, he recommended that the Ohio legislature take a look at “electronic wills” and update the laws governing wills so that Ohio probate judges will have some guidance on what to do in these situations. Also good advice for the other 48 states and the District of Columbia since digital documentation and transactions are only going to continue to increase in the future.

Note: This article was taken from the web newsletter of Julie Garber, attorney at law, About.com Wills & Estate Planning guide.